Friday, October 16, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Moulin Rouge!

Or the brothel better known under the name of "mainstream media." To put it mildly. To put it rightly, on the other hand, the compelling question is: WTF are you doing?

The hysterical assaults of the international press against Berlusconi are reaching impressive levels of idiocy, and in my recent article I've tried to explain why the current Premier is not the only one to blame. From the Washington Post to Newsweek, to the Times, much of English and US media are proving very much loving and caring for Italy's destiny. How touching.

Anne Applebaum, in her thoughtful essay for the Washington Post, shows how nothing knows about Italy, but it's ok, because our own Indro Montanelli used to say: "The job of the journalist is to write about things he doesn't know." Apparently Anne Applebaum is his best student. Her masterpiece culminates like this:

"There has to be something appealing about Berlusconi himself as well. Severgnini [nonetheless] has called him a 'mirror' of modern Italy, and one sees what he means: Nouveau rich (like almost everyone in the country) [uhm...who??] and not afraid to show it off (remember that Sardinian villa); a lover of women and soccer (he owns the team A.C. Milan); loyal to his friends (even protecting them from the law); and clearly enjoying himself at those parties on his yacht, Berlusconi leads a kind of caricature version of the ideal Italian life. And precisely because he is a caricature, he gets away with things that other people can't. One hears Italians regale one another with Berlusconi stories and then howl with laughter.

[Hang on, here starts the best part]

Besides, with Berlusconi as your prime minister, you don't have to take yourself too seriously. You don't have to trouble yourself with geopolitics or the state of the planet, or poverty and failed states. You can stay at home, remain unserious and argue about the latest legal scandal. Anda maybe that, too, is part of the Italian prime minister's appeal."

How cool was that? Yes, I couldn't restrain myself, the unorthodox comments are mine. Dear Ms Applebaum, first of all, how dare you speaking about Italian mentality when, among all excellent thinkers Italy has had, the best example you could bring up is Beppe Severgnini? Second, what kind of brass neck do you have to say such a thing like "You don't have to trouble yourself with geopolitics or the state of the planet, or poverty and failed states"? Why? Are you telling me you are concerned for such plagues? Are you at least a little (yes, a little would be enough) aware that your bloody government is directly responsible for poverty, international terrorism, dictatorships, overthrowing democracies, genocides, wars and suffering all over the world?

Let's fly over to Newsweek's land. Another caring outlet, so concerned about Italian democracy that friendly whispers in "Silvio's" ear: "Silvio, it's time to go." And then dishes out advices to Italians on how to dump Berlusconi.

But the real jewel is our own home-made, genuine Beppe Severgnini, the best, the original, the Voice. Guest blogging in the Time, for the occasion. And what's better occasion to faithfully persist with the smear campaign against Berlusconi? At the end of the day, US troops are used to shoot against the Red Cross, why shouldn't their media do the same?

For that matter, Severgnini sports his best idea: Berlusconi mirrors Italian people. So Severgnini himself is included, phew, I was starting to worry. In a desperate effort to say something new about the already widely bad-mouthed Mr President, he lits up our days with an anthropological blurb about Italians' nature and goes deep into the disgraceful flaws of Italian people. I'm puzzled: he's still Italian, right? Does he still work for Corriere della Sera, right? Being the Corriere the main national newspaper in Italy, that in its heyday was completely controlled by former Masonic Lodge P2, very much praised by its own journalists when Licio Gelli was the boss, and very much criticized now that Berlusconi (former P2) is the Premier. How much hypocrisy Italians have to hear, almost the same level US citizens have to bear from their own media, in a time that sees them just out of the dark Bush era and just in the phony Nobel Peace Prize Obama age.

Tell me, Beppe, (can I call you Beppe? We are colleagues, after all) in your article, instead of trivialities such as food, soccer, church and Obama's suntan, why didn't you write about the sack of Italy happened in 1992? Or the relations between Prodi and Goldman Sachs? Or how Italy is a US colony, economically and politically manipulated, let alone militarily occupied? It doesn't pay off to say the truth as it is, right Beppe? So you prefer writing trivialities for the Time, to feed the needs for morbid gossip and promote the increasing mental laziness, in the umpteenth effort to foment the cultural brutalization media and school system are contributing to spread, to keep minds sleepy and elites well-heeled, on our shoulders.

This system is sickening, banks are the real ruling powers, politicians are their waiters and journalists are their prostitutes.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Moulin Rouge.


Irving Washington said...

The English and American press seem prone to adopting a haughty attitude when commenting on Italy, I have noticed this myself. It doesn't help that for context, as you point out, they reference not important events or relationships in Italy's recent past, but the bucolic stereotype that we all have of Italy.

That said, Berlusconi does seem a bit of a dick. He seems prone to sexist comments and ill thought statements and somewhat egocentric - or rather, completely out for himself. Not sure how he was voted back in :-/

Angela said...

I absolutely agree that he's a dick, but this is nothing new, he's always been. His private tv channels are directly responsible for the cultural drift Italy is living in, and his sexist comments are outrageous.
But when he complied to commonly accepted international rules, his flaws were "acceptable", and he was just funny, now that he's somehow disobedient, he's a dictator and a pervert. He's the same person he was in 1994, why is everybody surprised now? Why does everybody care so much about Italian democracy only now?
I've never voted for him, and if you scroll down a bit my blog you can see how much I dislike him, but I'll be honest, his opponents scare me, and at the next elections I don't feel comfortable voting for anyone.
Thanks for stopping and commenting, much appreciated!

Irving Washington said...

You're more than welcome, I shall now have a look round your site, interesting stuff :-)

Re being afraid of his opponents, I know exactly how you feel. I actually stopped voting about eight years ago. I'm Labour/Lib Dem at heart but they're either useless, corrupt or uselessly corrupt...

I've given up on em all now in the UK. For the time being, anyway.

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